Death Angel – The Evil Divide (Nuclear Blast 2016)

 

Death Angel should get more acknowledgement for their great sound and consistent songwriting than they do. Just like the case of Destruction, I prefer the comeback material to the classic records. The songwriting is more mature, the sound is better and the vocals are better.

Death Angels last album, The Dream Calls for Blood, was a brilliant record. The only thing didn’t love about it was the squeal Osegueda put at the end of every phrase. I’m happy to say that he keeps it simple on this record. The vocals are mostly on the aggressive side, Osegueda is always chasing the beat and he really pushes his boundaries. He sounds great, this might be his best album yet.

The guitar sound is round and full on the rhythmsections and squealing, screaming on the leads and solos. The songs are filled to brink with riffs and ideas. Cavestany is an amazing songwriter. He and Aguilar work great together. The guitars sound good and on songs like Lost and It Can’t Be This the double guitar work is stellar. The bass is sounds nice and rumbling, sometimes doubling with guitars at others going on jazzy walks. Will Carroll on drums is also doing a standout job on this album, there’s always something happening and he’s bursting with energy and creativity. There’s really something to be said for creative drumming, it really adds to a song.

The Evil Divide has a lot of great songs; there are no fillers on here. All the songs are well written, well thought out pieces of music. Most is high tempo, pumping, proper thrash songs. The opening track, The Moth, has an immediate feeling that grabs you and kind shakes you. Lost, Father of Lies and Hell to Pay are all brilliant, fast and fist pumping tracks. My favorite track might be It can’t be This, mainly because of the scream along chorus. Breakaway has an amazing guitar solo. It’s just out of this world, both technically and musically. Let the Pieces Fall is a great closer. It contains all the elements of a great thrash song. The beat, the chug, the aggression are all there.

The bonus track, Wasteland, is a cover song. I’ve never heard the original, by the Mission. It’s a great song and it’s out of their comfort zone. Osegueda does his best Peter Steele voice and it sounds great. The track really stands out, not in a bad way.

All in all The Evil Divide is amazing and a big contender for album of the year.

 

Recommended tracks: Lost, It Can’t Be This, Father of Lies,  Hell To Pay, Breakaway, Wasteland

 

Rating: 4,5/5

 

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Death Angel – The Dream Calls for Blood (Nuclear Blast 2013)

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Death Angel is one of those bands that keeps releasing quality records, but never gets the proper recognition. I will admit that that there has been a few low points in their catalog, but the music has never been bad. In later years Death Angel seem to have rediscovered their earlier passion and drive, maybe the line up changes where just what was needed to bring back the inspiration.

Just like Relentless Retribution this album is packed with up tempo, riff heavy songs. Most of the music is written by Rob Cavestany, as usual, and there seems to be no shortage of ideas, riffs or melodies from Mr. Cavestany.

The only thing that bothers about the songwriting is a few of the vocal melodies. Mark Osegueda has such a great voice, yet he so often, too often in my opinion, chooses the slightly out of tune scream, or squeal if you like. On a few of the songs, most notably the title track and Fallen, this is done so much it gets annoying. It seems to me that he sells himself short and doesn’t go all the way, so to speak. Because when he emulates Dio on the excellent Heaven and Hell cover that finishes of the album, you can really tell what a great voice he has and how much power he’s got in his pipes. 

There are really no bad songs on The Dream Call For Blood. My personal favorite is the opener, Left for Dead. When the guitar kicks in after the short intro, there is no looking back. It’s super fast, super heavy, ass kicking thrash metal for the next five minutes.

The only track I don’t like is the third track, Fallen. I’m not really sure what it is about this song, except for the vocal thing mentioned above, there is just something about it that irritates me.

Other tunes worth a mention is Detonate, Son of the Morning and Territorial Instinct / Bloodlust. Just high quality thrash all the way, bursting with energy and power.

 

Rating: 4 / 5